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Leadership for positive impact

Beautiful coast near Drapanos

The venue

Stunning views of the mountains. Clean and unspoilt beaches with water that is crystal clear. Drapanos is located in a part of Crete that is truly inspirational. The village is small, but with a thriving community and lots of things to see and do. It is the perfect home for ESA. The ESA building includes a seminar hall and a dining room, both of which seat up to 50 people. It is located in its own grounds, providing privacy and space for reflection.

Built-in sustainability

The walls are made of straw

The aim at every stage in designing and building the ESA building was that sustainable principles should be to the fore. All timber used was certified being Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) standard. Straw bales were used for walls, along with sun-dried adobe bricks (mud bricks).

Being off the central power grid, all energy requirements are provided via solar power, designed and installed by energy engineer Kostas Rovlias from Chania. It was designed by Chania architects Antonia Diamantaki and Zeta Chrissafakis, and built by local builder Antonis Nikoloudakis.


One of the big challenges in the building process was the difficulty of fitting this sustainable approach into the framework permitted by Greek town planning and building regulations. This resulted in a few delays, extra costs and compromises – for instance, being forced to use more concrete and steel than necessary.



Seeking opportunity from every difficulty, the lessons learned from those difficulties have been audited and kept for use in ESA training and education programmes about sustainable construction!



A truly inspiring venue for events

Host your event at ESA

Powered only by Cretan sunshine, ESA is a beautiful building rooted in the earth amongst ancient rocks and olive trees, surrounded by nature. Its construction is a leading example of sustainability in practice. ESA is an experiential and creative place where people feel enlivened, uplifted and creative. Great living and great learning happens at ESA. A perfect setting for:

Leading enterprise for the future

Innovators in Sustainable Enterprise

Our passion is contributing towards co-created sustainable enterprise for positive impact on communities and the natural environment on a global scale. Leadership and entrepreneur issues of adaptation, resilience, authenticity, sustainable-self, values connected sense-making and the continued emancipation of women (WISE) to take up more leadership roles in the world are at the core of the ESA sustainability experience.

Sustainability created in Crete

Your sustainability experience

Crete is the sustainable destination of the past and of the future.


Home of the Minoans, one of the earliest civilisation on earth, nestled between Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Crete is rich with mythology, gastronomy, music, art and agriculture. You can have your own authentic experience of a sustainable lifestyle and feel first hand the strong connection between nature and community.